Police say a Brooklyn man stole loads of diapers from Nassau supermarkets by scanning substitute bar codes for cheaper items at self-checkout lanes.
Kevin W. Hargrove, 24, targeted various Stop & Shop stores about 14 times between Jan. 7 and April 1, making off with more than $3,000 in merchandise, Nassau police said.
Hargrove was arraigned Friday on charges of third-degree grand larceny and two counts of second-degree falsifying business records. Bail was set at $9,000 bond or $4,500 cash.
Prosecutors said Hargrove would typically scan the bar code for a $1 pie plate and make off with $49 to $99 in diapers that he'd later sell on the street.
"If I had to guess, I've hit every Stop & Shop in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut," Hargrove told investigators, according to the criminal complaint. "I've been doing this so long, I can't remember." He was represented by Legal Aid, which does not comment on cases.
Police said Hargrove is under investigation for similar thefts in the tristate area.
"With the increase in use of self-checkout stations at stores, thefts by UPC label are on the rise," Nassau's Acting District Attorney Madeline Singas said in a statement. "The systematic theft of goods through this scheme hurts businesses and consumers who may ultimately pay higher prices to cover the losses." With John Valenti